A few days ago I interviewed within the company at a different branch for a pay increase position and the commute would have been sliced in half. A win win. The interview went well enough and I genuinely thought I would get the position. I did not. Today I received that news and immediately I felt less then what I was feeling thirty seconds prior. My next emotion was acceptance in the form of this inner statement: this is where I am supposed to be. Hearing that somehow resonated and made it okay to carry on and relay to co-worker after co-worker that enquired about if I got it.
As the day carried on I felt less okay with the whole concept and more as though I let myself down. And while down in my sunken place a strong sentence filled my being: Just because you’re at where you’re at doesn’t necessarily mean it’s where you’re supposed to be. How much truer could a string of words be?
And that’s when I was led to an even greater truth: Pay close attention to the direction that your life is going in. That one knocked me on my keester. How often have I wasted time, energy, emotion, resource, sleep in the name of walking in circles! I believed the map said “North, now go!” when it’s really just been where my fleeting fantasies have led me to believe where I should go and not a solid path leading to a realistic destination. I better fill in some blanks before I blow my mind further.
In the ’99 movie The Blair Witch Project the cast of three get lost deep in the woods, virtually walking in circles all day and ending up either in the same place or ultimately far from where they wanted to be. A few years back my daughters went to a park to play. Upon leaving, it was soon discovered that they knew not the route home so they ended up walking in a general straight line for hours, hoping to somehow end up at their destination: home. Apparently getting lost takes on all shapes. With a map or without. Going in circles or on a straight trajectory.
If you’re going in the wrong direction, all the tools in the world won’t help you. Am I supposed to be at the job I’m at, earning next to nothing and doing the job of a monkey or robot? Not at all. If I continue to drink every day is that my thing? Where will it take me? Is it the right direction I should be going in? Hell no. If I continue to mismanage my finances will I end up where I set out to be? Maybe a fork in the road will magically lead me to better fortune. No, ma’am, no. I choose where I go because if I don’t I go nowhere fast.
Years ago I subscribed to the notion that my focus is to make it in the literary world and make it huge. All other aspects in my life (day job, children, relationships, health etc) would carry their weight as always but my road has a glorious, red letter destination. That is where I want to be and I will get there. Then life happens and other side roads emerge. Focus is dissolved albeit temporarily but nonetheless thrown off course. Sometimes I see myself falling backwards in slow mo, reaching desperately for what is rapidly getting further and further from me and that is my writing career. I can lay there in the ditch dead or I can rise, reroute and climb back onto the beaten path.
Make the choice. It’s in front of us all. You wake up and think what in the full cup happened?! Get back in your lane and head in the direction you need to be going, even if you’re further from then when you started. Fall short again? Dust off and set forth. Keep going. Keep going. Keep going.